- Eskom says Stefanutti Stocks was overpaid to the tune of R1 billion for its work at Kusile.
- But the construction firm says it is the party owed by the power utility.
- It has taken the matter to an adjudicator.
Stefanutti Stocks, one of the companies that Eskom fingered as benefiting from over R4 billion in overpayments during the construction of Kusile power station, has rejected the accusation that it took more money than it was supposed to.
Construction companies ABB South Africa, Stefanutti Stocks and Basil Read Joint Venture, as well as Tubular Construction Projects, were named by Eskom in a briefing document issued by the power utility.
But Stefanutti said that in fact, an independent engineer and Eskom carried out audits of the work carried out by the Stefanutti Stocks Basil Read Joint Venture (SSBR JV) between 2015 and 2018, and they only issued records and the payment certificates when they were satisfied that the costs claimed were "actually and validly incurred in the construction at Kusile".
"Stefanutti Stocks has considered the briefing document and notes, for the benefit of shareholders in particular, that the investigations being carried out by and on behalf of Eskom are not complete. That said, Stefanutti Stocks disputes that it, or the joint ventures in which it participates, have been overpaid," said the company in a statement on Wednesday.
Eskom, on the other hand, wrote in a briefing document that Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has presented to ANC Chief Whip Pemmy Majodina that SSBR JV and Stefanutti Stocks Izazi JV owe the power utility R1 billion.
Stefanutti Stocks said it was, in fact, pursuing a number of contractual claims and compensation events on Eskom's power projects.
"Stefanutti Stocks contends that the SSBR JV is owed additional amounts in respect of work done since December 2018 and in respect of which payments have been withheld. SSBR JV and Eskom have both committed to a claims resolution process which involves the employment of independent experts to evaluate the causes of delay and the quantum thereof," further read the group's statement.
It said it is owed more money under the Stefanutti Stocks Izazi Joint Venture (SSIJV) as Eskom terminated the contract between the two due to its own inability to provide access to the venture to complete its works.
"Based on the works completed, as well as Eskom’s inability to provide access, Stefanutti Stocks contends that there are significant amounts due to it. SSIJV commenced an adjudication process to recover these additional amounts in 2018. This process is ongoing and is anticipated to be concluded during the latter part of 2020," said the construction firm.